overall_rating 4.096153846153846 52

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Replaying this. The hub is beautiful and mysterious, the best I’ve seen in any pack – but it seems silly to award it a standalone mark.

The first level I replayed was Vondur’s False Esteem. It’s beautifully constructed, but suffers from two problems. First, too much time is spent manoeuvring in tiny spaces, or on tiny ledges, above certain death. I enjoy a bit of that in a map, but here it’s not just seasoning, it’s the main course. It becomes wearing. The second problem is that the Chthon at the end is super-easy to kill (I’m on Hard skill). Still, at the very least a solid 4* map.

More individual-map comments to follow.

And Wears a Golden Sorrow by Kell shares one failing of Vondur’s map (and if I remember rightly, with several of the other maps in this pack) – it feels more like a series of puzzles and challenges than it does like an actual place. This is a tricky balance to strike, because of course we do want maps to be puzzling and challenging as well as feeling like real places.

That said, I enjoyed playing this one more, especially the hefty challenge of surviving the get-the-gold-key moment. I like that there is a neat tactic that you can use to win that combat (retreat to the nearby room where you can stand on a ledge over the droles that follow you, showering them with grenades). So I make this a 4* map.

And so to Necros’s Undreamed Shores. Generally, I love the horde combats in Necros’s maps, but somehow they felt a bit cramped and arbitrary in this one. The relentless brutality, which can sometimes be invigorating, left me feeling drained instead. I can’t explain it. I wonder if others feel the same?

I enjoyed the final room, though, where it’s not too hard to win out by getting quickly up onto a ledge, letting infighting clear the crowds, and then dropping down to mop up with the help of the SNG and the Trinity. All in all, though, I have to rate this 3*, well below Necros’s best work.

Next up: Kell’s He Falls Like Lucifer. This is definitely the best-looking map so far, using the library theme in a beautifully twisted way to yield a bizarre amalgum of Quake proper and an old-fashioned Sonic level. The gameplay’s good, too, with some nice surprises and a few opportunities to be clever. I’d have to make this the pack’s first 5* map.

I found the quad, pentagram and trinity, but I never figured out how to get the gold-key platform to take me round to the doorway to the rocket-launcher. Does anyone know the secret?

Zwiffle’s Born of Madness feels cozier than most of the other chapters – not really sitting comfortably in the Fodrian theme. That said, it’s a really neat little map with a succession of satisfying combats. In terms of gameplay it suffers from excessive linearity, though the gaps in the walls certainly help to give a sense of anticipation, as you see what’s ahead without being able to reach it. Three stars seems harsh, but I’m going to go with it because of the recent elevation of what’s the best of Quake, and because I didn’t get much sense of atmosphere.

Eric’s Beware the Ideas of March has some cool qualities: it’s nice to start outside in what seems like it’s going to be a void map, only to find that that much of the climax takes place in a big library. Most of it is good to look at, too.

I’m only awarding 3*, though, for three reasons.

First, I couldn’t figure out the legitimate way to get down beneath to mausoleums, so I was Just Plain Stuck. In the end I had to noclip my way down.

Second, one of the secrets doesn’t have a stash (unless I’m missing something). It’s one of the two mirror-image tall library room that are also devoid of monsters, and whose identical secrets are almost impossible not to find.

Third, the final combat is just too easy. With the red armour, a shield of deflection and a quad (plus a megahealth if you need it), killing off a couple of shamblers and droles is not taxing.

(The first and second of these seem like the kinds of problems you might get my omitting -hipnotic from the command-line, but I am including it.)

Thanks for the comments Mike - my map is pretty rough, haha.
To get in to the mausoleums you have to axe the contract on the altar in the upstairs room of the castle. For some reason this made sense to me at the time (and there’s nothing to suggest that in the map)! I think the secret with no items is just a mistake, could be an item that was placed too close to the wall and falls out. Thanks for playing it anyway, and this reminds me to play Contract Revoked and this pack again some time.

Oh, of course! How sensationally stupid of me. I remember being told “destroy the contract”, and thinking “I don’t do that yet, I’ll explore first and then see what changes when I come back and destroy it”. Then I forgot to do it. Entirely my fault.

Thanks for putting me right.

On to Ionous’s Last Syllable Of Time. Most enjoyable, especially the moment of dropping through the roof onto the gold key, only to find myself surrounded by four vores. But it loses some points due to the blocky and bland nature of the architecture – lots of big, square open spaces. This is one map where the gameplay definitely surpasses the layout, even if there were a few more polyps than I can find enjoyable. The shambler one-two-three way particularly delightful. All in all, I make this a 4* map, just.

… all of which brings me to finale, Kell and Necros’s Through Nature To Eternity. There’s only one monster, but it’s a good one – the first ever appearance, I believe, of a Vermis. It’s not too hard to kill, provided you get started quickly enough on the switches and manage to grab the shield. It’s a very beautiful level, with a lovely arcane sense of hanging in a void, so overall I give this 4*. At the time, it must have been shocking, a clear 5* finale, but times have changed.

Putting it all together, although I awarded only a single 5* to an individual map (Kell’s He Falls Like Lucifer) four 4s and three 3s, I do stand by my original overall five-star mark for the map as a whole. It was a sensational achievement at the time, and all the maps stand up well today. Very well worth playing.

In retrospect, The Lost Chapters was the first map-jam, though the term hadn’t been invented. What a shame the subsequent jams don’t have hub levels – even if they’re just the one from Lost Chapters with the teleporters repurposed!

Oh, and see also Hrimfaxi’s The Rest is Silence (hrim_sp2), which is a sort of lost Lost Chapter, and uses the extensions from this pack before they were formalised as part of Quoth.

MikeTaylor, there have been numerous mapping get-togethers before this pack. :wink:

Links, please!

The Rest is Silence(hrim_sp2) was made to be included with this map-pack But due to lazynes and RL it was released on its own a few months after this pack.

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